Here at Harvey Homes, we are well aware that some of our success can be attributed to the dedicated partners that we work with. The collaborative relationships that we have created bring out the best of our properties and help us to reach families who are looking for their new home.
The established interior design company is based in Cheshire and predominantly practices in the North West of England as well as in Spain. They have an impressive portfolio of projects; from complete bespoke interior design on large residential homes to contemporary show homes and apartments. The interiors they create reflect the individual personality and lifestyle of each client, and this has fostered a reputation for excellence and a flawless track record.
We recently spoke to Marie Charnley herself, to find out more about the work she did with Harvey Homes, what motivates her and what the future holds for interior design…
Can you give us a brief history / overview of Marie Charnley Interiors and your career?
I originally showed a bit of a flair for interior design at school where I particularly loved art and sewing but I didn’t go down that route career-wise until much later.
Interestingly, I originally trained as a children’s nurse and then became a paediatric nurse which I loved for many years.
However, in 2004 I went back into training and enrolled at The National Academy of Design at Nottingham University. While training I undertook some work experience at a company called ‘Show us your rooms’ and also worked a bit with my husband who is an architect and is in development.
I ended up acing my course and then went to work full-time with ‘Show us your rooms’ for around five years, where I focused on dressing apartments and show homes.
After the Economic Crash in 2007 there was a devastating knock on effect to the housing market. As a direct result I decided to take the plunge and become my “own boss”.
Consequently, Marie Charnley Interiors was launched in 2009. I quite quickly secured a steady flow of private customers focusing on soft furnishings via the local Interior shop Wilmslow Interiors, helping customers choose fabrics and wallpapers initially to compete a given space, then increasing my scope to include fixtures, fittings and furniture – the full design package.
Alongside my private clients, myself and my team began to focus on larger developments, providing a wide range of design advice to incorporate all internal finishes for developers and their newly built houses, from the bathrooms, kitchens, floor finishes and lighting.
Over the years I have established a portfolio of trade contacts and strong working relationships with many trades to name a few locally; Wilmslow Interiors and Arighi Bianchi.
What is your working relationship like with Harvey Homes?
I was recommended to Harveys Homes by Mike Kennedy. I met the team, pitched for the job and our working relationship has gone from strength-to-strength.
They agreed a generous budget for their show home at Swan Green (they’re not one to cut corners) and aside from a general colour scheme and flow, they gave us free reign to do what we do best!
I really wanted to do a good job for them as I hope to work with them on more of their developments in the future. I’m very pleased with how the show home at Swan Green turned out and know that they are too.
They are a very personable team and I love that they are a family-run business. It’s great to see a father and son working together so well.
What stands out for you about the Harvey Homes properties?
It’s simple – the houses are so spacious, and all the rooms are naturally filled with so much light that it was a real joy to work in them. The generous room sizes and high ceilings mean that the interior design was quite easy – no matter what I put into the Tabley home it was always going to look good!
We worked with the Harvey Homes team to ensure we didn’t miss any attention to detail and to ensure that everything flows well and that the quality of the homes themselves is allowed to sing.
The location of Swan Green is particularly amazing as well and I’m quite proud to have been involved in its conception.
Did you do anything unique for the Harvey Homes show home?
The properties are very much for discerning buyers and we want to reflect that with high-end products in the homes. The design, finishes and bathrooms are all chosen to be very good quality and unique – just like the homes themselves!
For example, they are my only client to have allowed us to feature an Eames chair and it stands in pride of place in the study window.
What is your company’s focus at the moment?
We are currently lucky enough to have a very diverse array of clients and projects.
We work with private clients to bring their vision to life and to make them smile whenever they enter a room of their home.
For our developers, we are given a bit more freedom and it’s great to get my creative juices flowing to showcase the best of their developments. It’s important to ensure that we match a property to a target market. For example – an apartment in Manchester would be designed very differently to how we did the family home in Knutsford for Harvey Homes.
What does a usual day consist of for you?
One day to the next is totally different. Some days are all about negotiating with trade to ensure a project comes in on time and to budget. Other days are all about my children, whether that’s the school run or helping them with their homework.
I love the independence of working for myself and the flexibility that brings. I’m certainly never bored and have never looked back on my career choices!
What keeps you motivated at work each day?
I’m a real people pleaser and don’t like to let clients down. I love doing a good job and ensuring that I have a reputation that precedes my work – getting new business off the back of referrals is a fantastic feeling.
I also think it’s important to be a good role model to my children and demonstrate what a strong work ethic is.
What do you think the future holds for interior design?
Coronavirus means that there certainly has been a bit of a rise of the ‘home-office’ recently. It amazes me how much trendy office furniture is out there!
People are at home now more than ever before, but many are still too busy to design it themselves, so we are seeing an increase of enquiries on this level.
At the end of the day, homes will always be being built and they have to continue to be spaces that are warm and welcoming and that is where interior design can truly make a difference!
Thank you so much for talking to us Marie and for your continued support of Harvey Homes!